Premier League

Lily Yohannes scores in ‘dream debut’ for United States

Lily Yohannes scores in 'dream debut' for United States

16-year-old Lily Yohannes celebrated her United States debut with a goal on Wednesday, helping the nation secure a 3-0 victory over South Korea in a friendly.

The midfielder, who plays her club football for Ajax, hit the back of the net after being on the pitch for just nine minutes, after being given an opportunity to perform in the 72nd.

Yohannes is now the eighth-youngest player to debut for the US women’s side. Speaking after the match, she described her appearance as a “dream come true”.

“I played this scenario out in my head like how many times before this game? Just having the idea of coming on and scoring,” she said.

U.S. Soccer/Veritone

“She doesn’t look like a 16-year-old,” manager Emma Hayes said. “She knows what I think about her. And I have really pushed and wanted her in this squad. She’s a player I’ve admired – even as the Chelsea manager.”

Elsewhere on the pitch, Crystal Dunn made it on to the scoresheet first, closely followed by Sophia Smith.

On Yohannes, Dunn added: “We were clowning out there with her and were like, ‘Yo, that was the smoothest first goal I’ve ever seen’.”

The friendly marks Hayes’ second time heading up the US after departing Chelsea after 12 years at the end of the latest Women’s Super League season.

Hayes’ team has two more friendlies scheduled before the start of the Paris 2024 Olympics. The three-time Olympic champions open their Games against Zambia on July 25 in Nice, before battling Germany and Australia.

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